Cancer Research Future in Limbo for Harvard 'Dreamer' - NBC Southern California
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Cancer Research Future in Limbo for Harvard 'Dreamer'

"I want nothing more than to be able to contribute meaningfully to a society [that] has already given me so much," Larios said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Boston 'Dreamers' Concerned About Future of DACA

    A Harvard Medical School student says she has been concerned ever since President Trump announced he would end DACA, and each announcement and judgment has continued her emotional roller coaster.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018)

    Dalia Larios has dreamed of being a doctor since she was a child.

    "I wanted to help people every day and I wanted to find answers for the disease we didn't know about," Larios said.

    But since President Donald Trump announced he was ending DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the fourth-year Harvard Medical School student and cancer researcher at Dana Farber, has been worried that dream will be stripped away.

    The 28-year-old grew up in Arizona. Her parents brought her to the state from Mexico when she was just months old. She went to public school and then to Arizona State University for undergrad before she was accepted to Harvard.

    Lawmakers Fight Over DACA and Border Security

    [NATL] Lawmakers Fight Over DACA and Border Security

    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree on the need for legalizing young immigrants under DACA, but cannot agree on the timeline for tackling border security. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has proposed a two-step plan for comprehensive immigration reform by taking care of DACA and border security first before attempting to reform the country's immigration system itself. 

    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018)

    "I feel this is my home, this is where I belong, and I would love it if others could understand that and the dilemma that lots of us face," Larios said.

    Her DACA status allows her work on a 10-person research team headed by Cloud Paweletz, Ph.D. Dr. Paweletz notes that their work is not done, and if DACA ends and the team loses Larios, it would be a huge setback.

    "It would affect the entire team, emotionally, on a human level. On a research level, you would lose resources, and having a team lose resources is always tough," said Paweletz.

    Larios says her dream is to find a cure for cancer, and she hopes lawmakers will come up with a legislation fix that extends legal status for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought to the country illegally as children, so that she can help do that.

    "I want nothing more than to be able to contribute meaningfully to a society [that] has already given me so much," she said.